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Magliocchetti Family Connections to the United States Congress

Federal investigations into the financial activities of Paul Magliocchetti, his family, and his PMA Group lobbying firm are proceeding apace, chugging onward with the slow velocity but strong momentum of a freight train toward the destination of prosecution. The allegations are considerable: that the lobbyist Magliocchetti used his employees and his family as puppet contributors to members of Congress, especially those sitting on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. In exchange for those puppet contributions, members of Congress are alleged to have supported earmarks and other legislative action providing benefit to the corporations gaining big, fat military contracts from the government. Those military contractors, completing the circuit, gave ample compensation to Magliocchetti’s lobbying firm, the PMA Group.

Participating members of Congress got a disproportionate benefit: for just a few votes or insertions of language into bills, they got considerable cash for their campaigns. According to Federal Election Commission data, Magliocchetti’s family alone contributed $1,487,603 over the years to a small number of members of the House and Senate. No, I wasn’t slipping a decimal: that’s one and a half million dollars we’re talking about, and that’s “hard money” only, not counting possible soft money contributions off the FEC radar screen. The PMA Group received disproportionate benefit, nabbing much more than that in fees for its services. Military contractors received disproportionate benefit, gaining more still in government contracts. All that disproportionate benefit had to come from somewhere: from you and me, the taxpayers who foot the bill for the whole thing.

You wouldn’t know that such a bubbling pot of corruption existed, or that investigators were about to pull the lid off the pot, if you only paid attention to the diarists at dailyKos. Throughout the Jack Abramoff scandal on the Republican side of politics, you could find dozens of diaries a week detailing the nefarious goings-on and listing the names of all those involved. But as the story has broken out into the big wide open over the last two weeks, there’s only been one diary posted on the subject, to little attention. Why the silence? You know why.

I give credit to Kos himself for writing two articles on the subject of Magliocchetti and the PMA Group in the last month, both of them firmly in favor of investigation. In one of those articles, focusing on Magliocchetti’s connection to Rep. John Murtha, Kos wrote:

I’m not the biggest Steny Hoyer fan, but we dodged a bullet when Murtha lost his race for Majority Leader. Had he won (which Pelosi pushed hard, by the way), the parallels with DeLay would’ve been painful.

But did the Democratic Party really dodge a bullet when congressional Democrats elected Steny Hoyer as House Majority Leader? Two different ways of looking at campaign contribution data on the Magliocchetti family place Rep. Hoyer on the suspicious list.

Magliocchetti Family Connections

When it comes to politics, the Magliocchetti family matters. In a namedropping post, I listed the ten members of the Magliocchetti family who appear to have participated in coordinated campaign contributions to members of Congress. They are:

Paul Magliocchetti, Pater Familias
Nancy Magliocchetti, Ex-Wife
Edwin Kreger, Ex-Father-in-Law
LeWanna Kreger, Ex-Mother-in-Law
Joseph Welch (of Burke, VA), Ex-Brother-in-Law
Sandra Welch (of Burke, VA), Ex-Sister-in-Law
Jennifer Magliocchetti, Daughter
Mark J. Magliocchetti, Son
Leslie Magliocchetti, Daughter-in-Law
Rebecca DeRosa, Current Wife

$1.5 million is a lot of money for one family to give, but some political contributions might be more indicative of corruption than others. How might we tell which of the politicians on the Magliocchettis’ contribution list might have been swayed? The simplest indication is the dollar amount given to a politician by the Magliocchettis. A $250 contribution isn’t likely to sway a vote, but $50,000 in payouts represent a big favor and should make us suspicious. A second indication is the amount of overlap in giving by family members. The more members of the family that donate to a politician, the more it looks like we’ve got some conspiring and coordination on our hands.

The following are the past and present members of Congress who have received $10,000 or more in campaign contributions (either as individuals or through the Political Action Committees set for their benefit) from the Magliocchetti family:

David Obey: $10,000
Lindsey Graham: $10,000
Robert Matsui: $10,000
Christopher Carney: $10,500
Jerry Lewis: $13,000
John Mica: $13,250
Bob Graham: $14,000
Judd Gregg: $14,500
Alan Mollohan: $16,000
Timothy Ryan: $18,500
Zach Wamp: $20,700
Carolyn McCarthy: $21,700
Chet Edwards: $25,000
Steny Hoyer: $26,500
John Larson: $26,850
David Hobson: $32,500
Timothy Holden: $33,500
Bill Nelson: $36,163
Bill Pascrell: $39,450
Michael Capuano: $40,500
Mike Doyle: $46,900
Norman Dicks: $50,700
Loretta Sanchez: $50,800
John Murtha: $72,800
John Sununu: $74,350
James Moran: $87,750
Peter Visclosky: $120,000

And the following are those who have received campaign contributions from five or more members of the Magliocchetti family:

Melissa Hart: 5
Constance Morella: 5
Ben Nelson: 5
Randy Cunningham: 5
Jason Altmire: 5
Patrick Casey: 5
Allyson Schwartz: 5
Ron Klink: 5
Thomas Davis: 5
Robert Matsui: 5
Christopher Carney: 5
Timothy Ryan: 5
Steny Hoyer: 5
Paul Kanjorski: 6
Alan Mollohan: 6
Stephen Lynch: 7
Zach Wamp: 7
Carolyn McCarthy: 7
Chet Edwards: 7
David Obey: 8
Bob Graham: 8
Bill Pascrell: 8
Robert Torricelli: 9
John Larson: 9
Timothy Holden: 9
Bill Nelson: 9
Peter Visclosky: 9
David Hobson: 10
Michael Capuano: 10
Mike Doyle: 10
Norman Dicks: 10
Loretta Sanchez: 10
John Murtha: 10
John Sununu: 10
James Moran: 10

And here are the past and present members of Congress who make it onto both lists:

David Obey: suspicious
Robert Matsui: suspicious
Christopher Carney: suspicious
Bob Graham: suspicious
Alan Mollohan: suspicious
Timothy Ryan: suspicious
Zach Wamp: suspicious
Carolyn McCarthy: suspicious
Chet Edwards: suspicious
Steny Hoyer: suspicious
John Larson: suspicious
David Hobson: suspicious
Timothy Holden: suspicious
Bill Nelson: suspicious
Bill Pascrell: suspicious
Michael Capuano: suspicious
Mike Doyle: suspicious
Norman Dicks: suspicious
Loretta Sanchez: suspicious
John Murtha: suspicious
John Sununu: suspicious
James Moran: suspicious
Peter Visclosky: suspicious

Although this information provides no proof that the above members of Congress did anything corrupt, their contribution connections to the Magliocchettis are significant enough to merit some examination of their records. When it comes to the receipt of coordinated campaign contributions, this is clearly not just about John Murtha. The net of suspicion surrounds more than twenty members of Congress, it sweeps back for a number of years, and yes, it includes House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Hoyer’s hundreds earmarks include millions and millions of special military contracts. What’s in those contracts, and who do they benefit? Wait for the news or find out for yourself.

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